Biscaye Baie Cotes de Gascogne Sauvignon Blanc 2017
The Southwest region of France was first cultivated by the Romans and had a flourishing wine trade. In fact is was also used to be part of the Gallia Aquitania Province that extended from Toulouse to Bordeaux. The green and generous land of Gascony is nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees and on the doorstep of the Atlantic. It had dedicated practically all of its slopes and valleys to the art of the vine.
The climate of the Gers region has a very privileged position: the right amount of sun, rain and coolness in order to pamper the vines. This will let them reach their optimum maturity giving a rich aromatic palette that is both complex and seductive. Nearly two thirds of the surface area of the region, 13,000 hectares, is dedicated to the production of Côtes de Gascogne wines.
Biscaye Baie, named after the neighboring Atlantic Bay, hails from the commune of Vic Fezenac, 25km southwest of Eauze, in the heart of Gascony. It is a reflexion of the region’s personality with the freshness and aromatic expression of Sauvignon Blanc. It is a single vineyard of 130 hectares (321 acres) of Sauvignon Blanc on white clay limestone and fine siliceous soils. Planting density is 5 000 vines per hectare and the average age of vines is 15 years.
Grapes are picked up early around mid-August to preserve the aromas. The juice is pressed and fermented at low temperatures. The wine is finally stirred one month on the lees in stainless steel tanks and is then bottled. It is bottled early to capture all of the aromas.
French wine is nearly synonymous with fine wine and all things epicurean, France has a culture of wine production and consumption that is deeply rooted in tradition. Many of the world’s most beloved grape varieties originated here, as did the concept of “terroir”—soil type, elevation, slope and mesoclimate combine to produce resulting wines that convey a sense of place. Accordingly, most French wine is labeled by geographical location, rather than grape variety. So a general understaning of which grapes correspond to which regions can be helpful in navigating all of the types of French wine. Some of the greatest wine regions in the world are here, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône and Champagne, but each part of the country has its own specialties and strengths.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the king and queen of Burgundy, producing elegant French red and white wines with great acidity, the finest examples of which can age for decades. The same two grapes, along with Pinot Meunier, are used to make Champagne.
Of comparable renown is Bordeaux, focused on bold, structured red blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc including sometimes a small amount of Petit Verdot or Malbec. The primary white varieties of Bordeaux are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
The northern Rhône Valley is responsible for single-varietal Syrah, while the south specializes in Grenache blends; Rhône's main white variety is Viognier.
Most of these grape varieties are planted throughout the country and beyond, extending their influence into other parts of Europe and New World appellations.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.